Q: What supplies should I have on hand for a hurricane?
Hurricane season is back, so it's a good time to make sure you're prepared. Hurricanes are a more significant risk in Hawaii than on the mainland because you can't just get in a car and drive out of the storm's path. And because we're so isolated, it could take longer for help to reach us after a storm.
That's why emergency management officials want everyone to be "two weeks ready," with enough supplies of food, water, and other essentials for at least 14 days.
Many people underestimate how much water they will need. Experts recommend you have one gallon of water per person per day. That much water can take up a lot of space, but you can stash water supplies in empty areas around your home, like in the back of the closet or under your sink.
Have plenty of nonperishable food on hand, and ensure you can open it with a pop-top or a non-electric can opener, as power may be out in your area or across the island.
If you take medication, make sure you have a 14-day supply at all times. Don't wait until you run out to get your refill. You don't want to be in a situation where you're running low on a critical medication and can't get to the pharmacy to get more.
Think about what you need for information and communication, and make sure your cell phone is charged, with an additional power source or adapter to recharge it in your vehicle. Get a battery-powered radio that you can use to tune in to the weather station or local news to get updates on the emergency. And keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle at all times.
Finally, if you know there's a hurricane coming, make sure the emergency alert feature on your cell phone is turned on. Civil defense and emergency management officials will use this feature as a tool to push out updates on the storm. Maui County’s Emergency Alert System, MEMA, is a free service that enables you to sign up and receive official emergency notifications. Visit www.mauicounty.gov and click on the MEMA logo.
Maui Health’s hospitals and clinics have emergency management plans in place to ensure our patients and staff remain safe. In the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster, check our website at www.mauihealth.org and social media accounts (@WeAreMauiHealth) for status updates.
Hurricanes are a real threat in Hawaii, but by staying alert and being prepared, you can ensure that you and your family are ready to weather the storm.